WHAT CAN CAUSE HEAT STROKE?
As the weather warms up in spring and summer we spend more time outdoors with our dogs, and the risk of heatstroke, or hyperthermia, is increased. Heat stroke commonly occurs when dogs are left in vehicles without adequate ventilation, but can also occur due to walking them during hot weather or even from being left outside during very hot days without adequate shade or water.
Other predisposing factors to heat stroke include obesity, thickness of coat, and breed-related conformational variations of the face and airways such as in pugs and french bulldogs.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Initially your pet may appear distressed, will pant excessively and drool. Your pet may become unsteady and you may notice their gums become bright red or purple.
Hyperthermia can be a severe condition which can have affects on every system in your pets body.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT YOUR PET HAS HEAT STROKE?
Immediately move your pet to a cool, shaded area. Wet the paws, ears and belly with cool water and direct a fan onto those areas to aid in cooling. Seek urgent veterinary care.
Do not place wet towels over your pet and leave in place as they can easily heat up and worsen the condition. Do not force water into your pets mouth, but ensure there is water available if they wish to drink. Do not overcool your pet, best avoided by seeking urgent care.
WHAT CAN I DO TO AVOID MY DOG GETTING HEATSTROKE?
- Always provide adequate shade and ventilation for you pet.
- Avoid exercising during the heat of the day and walking on hot surfaces
- Always ensure you pet has enough fresh water
- Encourage your dog to enjoy some water fun when it’s really hot like the retriever or the kelpie in the photos
- You can also put some of your dogs favourite treats in water and freeze them for a fun summer time treat